Want to keep your kitchens and your restaurant equipment busy? If your restaurant is not online yet, you’re probably missing out on a big opportunity to improve business for your restaurant. Equipment and quality service aren’t the only things it takes to keep customers coming back. Being able to locate your restaurant online is a major avenue for new customers learn about it, and often how they ultimately choose to venture there for the first time. If you’re thinking about redesigning your restaurant to get to your restaurant equipment back in commission, there are a few things you should know first.
Here are some basic dos and don’ts when it comes to building a better website for your restaurant.
Do: Get to Know Your Customers
When redesigning your website, ask yourself: Why do your customers use your website? Is it to find your locations? To view your menu? To order food online? To give feedback about their experience? To find catering information? Tend to those needs first and foremost when reconstructing your website.
Don’t: Make Your Site More Complicated
A surplus of pages and graphics are not the mark of an upscale business. In fact, sometimes the websites that offer the simplest user experience are the most helpful. Be sure that your website is efficient and easy to navigate. Just like good restaurant equipment, you want a website that gives the customer a quality product quickly so that they are most likely to come back again.
Do: Show Off Your Social Media
If you already have accounts for your restaurant on outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, give your customers a way to navigate to those profiles from your homepage, and vice-versa. The more ways users can encounter your website and find information, the better.
Don’t: Ignore Your Phone
In a survey by Nation’s Restaurant News of about 1,500 smartphone users, 81% said they had used their phones to search for a restaurant in the last six months, and 84% said they also compared restaurants before choosing. While it’s a good idea, but not absolutely necessary, to create an app for your restaurant, you should at least optimize your site for mobile. Smartphone users will have an easier time navigating it and making a decision about where to eat. And speed isn’t just a matter of convenience; 62% of users said they were less likely to choose a restaurant if its website was difficult to read on a phone.
More Tips and Restaurant Equipment from ShortOrder
For more tips on running a successful restaurant, news about quality restaurant equipment, and more keep reading What’s Cooking.
What do you wish you could find on other restaurants’ websites? What restaurant equipment do you use most? Connect with ShortOrder on Twitter and Facebook and tell us about your experiences with marketing and restaurant equipment!
If you’ve been following What’s Cooking, you already know that we here at ShortOrder love Manitowoc ice machines. As a maker of top-of-the-line restaurant equipment, Manitowoc understands what it means to produce a quality product that functions optimally in any restaurant. Manitowoc is also dedicated to keeping its Manitowoc ice machines and equipment friendly to the environment while seeking ways to reduce restaurants’ energy bills. This week, What’s Cooking takes a look at the some of the steps the Manitowoc brand takes to stay sustainable.
Because Manitowoc regularly looks for ways to improve its product, it regularly uses guidelines for energy and water efficiency, as well as sustainable materials, into the creation of new products. The results are environmentally-friendly designs and more efficient equipment that keeps this kind of research and information in mind.
Manitowoc and Energy Star
The Manitowoc brand also proudly meets or exceeds Energy Star guidelines in the making of its equipment. Energy Star appliances are ones that are backed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and that have been proven to perform as well as or better than similar products that consume a higher amount of energy. If that isn’t green, we don’t know what is.
Manitowoc’s EnerLogic™ Goes the Extra Mile
Because there are some appliances that don’t fall into a category inspected by the EPA, Manitowoc takes care to ensure that those, too, are energy efficient. Manitowoc’s EnerLogic™ offers products that have received a third-party assessment and are deemed capable of reducing energy or resource costs. In fact, Manitowoc currently makes over 1,800 products that comply with Energy Star or EnerLogic™.
Air-Cooled Manitowoc Ice Machines
Air-cooled ice machines generally trump their water-cooled counterparts in terms of energy efficiency. They are also less expensive in the long run, because they are beneficial when water utility bills are high (unlike water-cooled ice machines, they don’t require cool water to circulate in order to cool the machine). To take advantage of air cooled Manitowoc ice machines, take a look at Manitowoc’s Indigo Series line of ice machines.
Manitowoc Ice Machines and More from ShortOrder
Ice machines are a vital component of any kitchen, be it in a large restaurant, a mom-and-pop diner, or a school cafeteria. Ice machines are used in schools to chill food in the serving line, as additions to soft drinks, and even in medical capacities. Athletic programs need ice to treat sports injuries, making ice machines an important part of a school’s sports facility. School nurses often make use of school ice machines, as well. In lieu of a countertop ice maker or a large in-office freezer, school nurses can use ice from the school’s cafeteria ice makers and use it throughout the day as needed. Because schools utilize ice machines regularly, having quality ice machines is important to keep things running smoothly in a school kitchen day after day.
Here are some tips from ShortOrder that will help you choose the ice machine you need for your school, plus some bonus tips for maintaining ice machines.
How Much Ice Will You Need?
First, you will need to make sure your ice machine will keep up with the needs of your school. Aim for about 1.5 pounds of ice per student when deciding what size ice machine you should purchase.
What Kind of Ice Do You Need?
To choose between different ice machines, you should next decide what types of ice you need. Dice sized, half dice sized, flake ice, and nugget ice are all common options of ice types in ice machines. Cubed ice is generally limited to food service settings, while flake and nugget ice are flexible in use and can be used in medical settings, as for sports injuries or in a nurse’s office.
Where Will You Put the Ice Machine?
The last thing you want is to buy an ice machine, only to find you have no place to put it! Measure the spaces in your kitchen where an ice machine could potentially fit, as well as the dimensions of the doors into the kitchen, factor in how much ice you will need on average, then shop with those dimensions in mind. You should also allow five to eight inches on either side for maneuverability. If you will need a compressor, remember to factor that into your configuration, as well.
Choose Your Ice Machine’s Brand
When choosing between ice machines, it’s best to go with a quality brand that will stand up to regular use and continue to produce quality ice day in and day out. Manitowoc ice machines and Scotsman ice machines are both dependable and energy-efficient options for ice machines.
Choose the Best Price
Saving money is always a concern for schools, especially when ordering new equipment. Order ice machines and other restaurant equipment through ShortOrder, and receive free freight and consistently low prices. In fact, we will beat any ice machine’s advertised price by refunding 110% of the difference.
After You Buy Your Ice Machine
Once you purchase your ice machine, make sure you change the water filter at least twice yearly, since dirty ice can make students ill. Also be sure that you clean and maintain your ice machine properly to save energy.
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ShortOrder.com is committed to being the low price leader. Not only will we meet, but we'll beat any legitimate advertised price from a competing food service equipment dealer for any item in our inventory. We will gladly refund 110% of the difference on an identical item from another dealer (including all freight charges.) Contact us at 800-211-0282 if you feel you have located an item that is priced lower than ShortOrder.com.